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Action ItemsCaliforniaJanice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: CA Action Alert: It’s Time to Protest Exclusion of Registrants from Prison Releases

In my last column, I implored the California Department of Corrections (CDC) to include registrants in its release of prisoners that began on July 1 due to a growing number of COVID-19 infections in the state’s prisons.  Since that time, the number of prisoners infected with COVID-19 has increased dramatically in three of those prisons: San Quentin, Avenal and Chuckwalla.

That is why I am writing this column.  We cannot and should not stand by while thousands of prisoners, including individuals convicted of a sex offense, are exposed to this deadly virus.

As of today, a total of 7,739 prisoners have been reported as infected with COVID-19.  That total is certain to underrepresent the actual number of infected prisoners because, according to CDC, only 30 percent of prisoners have been tested for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

In only one of those prisons, San Quentin, it is reported that there are 2,168 prisoners infected with COVID-19.  This compares to only 14 infected prisoners a month ago.  Of that total, 19 prisoners are reported to have already died from COVID-19 and hundreds of additional deaths are expected.

According to the national media, San Quentin is already being referred to as a death camp.  A camp from which hundreds of prisoners are being released although none of the released prisoners are registrants.

What can we do?  It is time to protest the inhumanity of refusing to release all prisoners who are registrants!

Because it is unsafe for many of us to protest in person at this time, I recommend we start our protest by sending letters and/or emails to the offices of both CDC Secretary Ralph Diaz and Governor Gavin Newsom:

CDC Secretary Ralph Diaz
1515 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95827

Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

I also recommend that we call their offices to complain:

CDC Secretary Ralph Diaz
916- 323-6001

Governor Gavin Newsom

The message I propose you send to Secretary Diaz is “modify your release plans in order to include prisoners convicted of a sex offense in the current and future prison releases.

The message I propose you send to Governor Newsom is “fire Secretary Diaz for his past failure to release prisoners convicted of a sex offense during this global pandemic.”

Let’s flood these offices with letters and calls.  Depending upon the responses we receive, we may need to grow the protest in other ways.  Please stay tuned.


Related article (for additional ideas on what to write):

Janice’s Journal: Let My People Go

Related video:

John Oliver Dissects the Deadly Spread of COVID-19 in Prisons and Jails []


Join the discussion

  1. Janice Bellucci

    Does anyone care about this issue? The silence is deafening. This column on a compelling topic, registrants in COVID filled prisons, was posted about 24 hours ago and yet there are NO comments. How many people reading this comment remember when they or a loved one were incarcerated? Perhaps you can connect with that feeling and find empathy for those who are currently in custody. If so, please speak up….on this website and by calling Secretary Diaz and Governor Newsom. Thank you.

    • Roger


      Only 8% of the people who got our email clicked on the link to see how to write! Just 8%!


      I HOPE YOU WILL JOIN ME IN COMMITTING TO CALL AND WRITE ASAP. I also commit to helping my friends and family do the same. I usually email them a little script they can reword to make their own.

      Because I am so busy trying to survive, I have easily fallen into the trap of thinking that IF AN ISSUE DOESN’T AFFECT ME DIRECTLY, WHY NOT LET SOMEONE ELSE DEAL WITH IT?

      But THAT IS PURE LAZINESS on my part! The world has been silent during the many atrocities that occur today and throughout history. As I have read those stories I have thought that if I were in another place or time that I would have done everything possible to save the lives of Jews, Native Americans, the Rowandan Tutsis, and many others.

      If I fantasize about risking my life for others, then WHY WOULD I HESITATE TO SPEND AN HOUR MAKING TWO PHONE CALLS AND SENDING TWO LETTERS from the comfort of my home?

      I hope you will ask yourself the same question. WE SHOULD ALL BE IN THIS TOGETHER! If not, them complacency will destroy our lives. If we try to hide in our little rabbit holes and not make waves, the politicians will reach in our holes and yank us out by the ears and destroy our lives by passing horrible laws.


    • K.D.

      My husband pleas no contest in 1983 to a misdermeanor P.C. 242 …The judge didnt order him to 290 register.In 2007 on an unrelated case (not a sex offense) he was released from prison his parole officer told him due to a new law he had to register based on his 1983 case.He is in prison for a dissuading a witness P.C.136.1 (b) (1)…Based on his 1983 misdermeanor case he is ineligible for early release and prop 57…Out of a 10 year sentence he has served 5 1/2 years .His primary offense was only 2 years…This is unconstitutional,cruel and unusual punishment…He is also 55 years old..
      Thank you for your time..

    • Jim Wymore

      I am all for the idea of all inmates being treated equally. However, I’m not for anyone being released prematurely. If the masks work then there’s no need to release criminals back into society prematurely. If the masks don’t work then this is obviously all about the election. When I was incarcerated I would’ve took any avenue to get out early and I can understand where others want the same. I can understand wanting to be treated the same. But now, as a member of the general public, I do not see letting any criminals out early. Give them a mask like we are forced to wear.

    • @F0Q_CDCR

      You’re right. People convicted of sex offenses (not sex offenders) continue to be excluded. Why? Unlike other categories, they’re subject to a much harsher procedure for release, even during “ordinary” times. They must first be evaluated to determine if they’re safe for release. I disagree with the difference of treatment, but having gone through this process, why the continued fear of release?


      • Larisa V Bray

        My son too, even he is still in jail, South Bay,waiting trial, and he has predisposition to the lung diseases and respiratory illnesses, his bail was not lowered from $4,100,00, and he is in jail since December 11, 2019 when charged. I complained to DOJ, and other organisation after his PD said nothing she can do. Indeed she did nothing on preliminary hearing back in July, when SD police literally falsified the evidence, showing/playing to the judge the partial recording of the taped phone conversation between my son and his ex wife. Basically he was set up. But I think he was set up weeks before, with help of Kimberly Sabraw, daughter of San Diego DA Summer Stephan, who was volunteers at the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Education Advocacy Project the same time when my son’s wife went to consult for the divorce. I just found out about that fact a week ago

    • totally against public registry

      Janice, I did emails. Sorry, I didn’t post anything. I’m always grateful! Thank you a thousand times…

  2. Janice Bellucci

    Another possible way to connect with empathy is to watch this “episode” of the John Oliver show which is dedicated to the issue of COVID in prison:

    • JAB

      I sent my letters and did calls the same day you posted Janice. We have been to Sac for lobby day two years in a row since joining ACSOL. There are no excuses people. WE MUST FIGHT! Janice is right, it’s appalling to see the lack of support in responses. Why is that! Yes we feel defeated at times, yes we all are busy, and most of us struggle financially. But we still step up the best we can. Making calls and sending letter is BASICALLY FREE! If anything, it might save a fellow registrants life. Isn’t that worth our time!!

      • Roger

        Thanks very much for your commitment, @JAB!

      • Brandon

        I don’t live in California; yet I made my voice heard and I won’t back down without a fight. This is not only inhuman it is criminal what is happening in prison. I even told people who live in California to speak out not on my behalf because it could be them or a loved one very soon.

  3. SR

    I’ll do both the calls and the letters. Hopefully the comments wont be “filed” into the circular bin.

    • Roger

      @SR, thank you for being willing to be inconvenienced to help save lives! You are an action warrior!

      The staff of the legislators really do tally calls for their bosses, and letters get a high weighting! That is how they get feel for the tides of public opinion.

  4. Kym

    I have a Loved one who is currently incarcerated for a S.O with whom would have had his case dismissed if his over thirty year old past incarceration didn’t become a factor. While he hasn’t been in the system in over thirty years a corrupt system decided to unjustly change that. while I quietly fight this fight with and for him the best we can. I simply want it to be know that I stand strong with this fight and will continue to do my part. One letter done, working on the second.

    Dear Governor Newsom,

    Covid-19 has hit California like a wildfire with many dying once it grips onto to you. The same goes for inmates who are incarcerated in the California prison system. As I keep up with what is going on within CDCR regarding Covid-19 as well as speaking with an inmate on the daily in the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, CA 92860 I find it beyond disappointing that Ralph Diaz, Secretary of CDCR isn’t doing more to ensure that all inmates get a fair opportunity to early release.

    I do not understand CDCR Secretary Diaz for his failure to release inmates convicted of a sex offense. It is simply common sense that not all sex offense cases should be clumped together by the CDCR who already make up their own rules and laws while ignoring the laws voted in especially during a global pandemic that is killing inmates, our loved ones at a high rate.

    What justifies the exclusion when we as voters made it clear based on the laws we voted in(prop 57), what justifies the exclusion when each case should stand on its own merit, what justifies it being okay for sex offense cases to be subject to a death warrant caused by Covid-19, what justifies CDCR Secretary Diaz to be the sole voice of deciding such an exclusion.

    Governor Newsom as voter and someone who Loves an incarcerated human being, I am asking why doesn’t the CDCR have an independent oversee panel as well as why hasn’t CDCR Secretary Diaz not been fired due to his inability to be non-bias against sex offense inmates, what justifies CDCR Secretary Diaz to not follow the law(s) that are already in place.

    Every and I mean every inmate who follows under the guidelines set forth by our voted in laws deserve to be equally looked at without exclusions of the offense. A corrupt prison system does not have the right to decide to change the laws that voters took their time to vote on to ensure an equal and just system.

    Please fire CDCR Secretary Diaz for his past and current failures to release sex offense inmates who are due rights by the laws as well as during this world wide pandemic. I will keep fighting for the inmates for I do not appreciate feeling like my vote is being wasted because CDCR Secretary Diaz wants to wrongfully speak for me when my vote already spoke.

    Sincerely Grateful,

    • SR @ Kym

      Thank you for posting your letter, Kym. If you don’t mind, I’ll use parts of it in my letter in mine (I don’t know anyone that’s currently incarcerated, so some parts wouldn’t apply).

    • Roger

      You are an awesome justice warrior, @Kym! Thanks!

  5. MV

    Wrote this to Diaz. I hope it helps.

    “Hello, I write to you today in hopes my words find you well. I have never written to any public servant before but these extraordinary times have made me push away my own present pains to reach out to you sir and beg for you to please modify your release plans in order to include prisoners convicted of a sex offense in the current and future prison releases.

    We are all humans and none of us received a handbook for this life but sex offenders seem to be put into a subhuman category almost instantly. The rates for recidivism are extremely low yet many of these inmates waste away in old dangerous cells waiting for the virus to spread.

    I can’t be any more compassionate, I don’t understand why they are not considered human? The consequences for these offenses come with a myriad of life changing punishments as it is. So much so, that they had to pull back some because it is basically abolishment! How can any human flourish passed their mistakes and grow to be a productive member of society? The goal of corrections should be, corrections..please help them, please consider them too!

    God, life is so interchangeable, so many factors, so much that influences and corrupt us without safe nets or educated family structures to help understand and process our minds and emotions. So many of us carrying the sins of our flawed bloodline just hoping for a chance to break the cycle, only to be deeply challenged by a system that sadly isn’t as interchangeable.

    I believe that True wholesome values will always make good people and that in turn will make them make good decisions.

    I believe we should all be guaranteed a second chance…

    Please release them.. fuck life is so hard as it is..

    Please we are all human and our souls are in the biggest battle we’ve all ever seen with this virus

    God it’s not right.. please find it in your heart to push whatever is stoping you from considering them too we all need a fighting chance in 2020

    This is our only life…. please help.“

    God bless you guys and thank you so much for your help and support

    • Roger

      @MV, thanks for writing from the heart!

      • Mv

        I hope it touches their hearts. This treatment of registrants needs to stop

    • Ignacia Flores

      Janice, my family appreciates everything you are doing for our loved ones in prison. We want our son released to home arrest From prison. We will all write & not give up on this fight.


    My loved one has served his sentence and is home, however, it doesn’t take much imagination to think how I would feel if he were in prison waiting to become ill with Covid 19. It is now known that even if you recover from the Corona Virus there are often permanent damages to one’s heart and/or lungs. And those of us who have either been incarcerated or have friends or loved ones who have been incarcerated are aware of the indifferent medical attention inmates receive, even without Covid 19 infecting prisons.
    I hope that everyone will send a letter, an e-mail, and make a phone call protesting the inhumanity of the decision to exclude all convicted of a sex offense from being released from prison during this pandemic!

  7. MLinCA

    I emailed Ralph Diaz, this was the auto response.
    “I will be out of the office until August 16th. If you need assistance, please contact my Executive Assistant Christina Acosta-Hoshall.”

    Thank You,

    I also emailed the gubner

    • Roger

      @MLinCA, fear not, their staff eventually get around to counting the calls and mail. Communications from voters is their life blood.

      • MLinCA

        Yeah, I put that I’m a registered voter in the email as well.

  8. Bill

    Sent my email to the governor, will be making calls and put together an email for Ralph Diaz.

  9. someone who cares

    I sent my e–mail to Secretary Ralph Diaz and will follow up with phone calls tomorrow.

  10. LS

    Sorry for the delay. My e-mails and follow-up phone calls will go out first thing tomorrow.

    • Roger

      @LS, thanks for being a person of action! You will help in the fight to save lives!

      I have an incarcerated friend who is facing extreme danger. He is hoping for release before COVID-19 sweeps through his prison like has happened in other prisons.

  11. David

    🗒️ I sent my strongly worded emails yesterday. 📨
    ☎️I will be making my phone calls today. ☎️

    • Roger

      @David, if we had thousands of justice warriors like you, we could have a massive impact across the nation!

      • jesse

        I hate to break it to you, but until SCOTUS reverses its finding that registration is not punishment but merely civil, per Smith v Doe, you may have a bunch of justice warriors warring, but abso-freaking-lutely nothing is going to happen, impact wise. Just saying.

        • Tim in WI

          Unfortunately Justice Roberts ultimately sets the agenda. Naturally his selection to the top seat is reflected by his position in Smith V. and the collateral implications concerning gov ( competitive 2 party) use of the database driven infrastructure. Giving states the moral authority to use ex post law to compel human subservience to database machine maintenance ( upkeep of data) set a standard incongruous to defined human republics. While these registries are accurate their use are invalid within underlying intent and impact to social structure. ANTITRUST.

        • AJ

          @Tim in WI:
          “Unfortunately Justice Roberts ultimately sets the agenda.”
          Not entirely true. While he is in charge of all the administrative issues for the Court, including (if not in Dissent) who writes what Opinion, he does not control what cases are heard by the Court. That decision is up to the entire banc, with four “yes” votes being what’s needed.

        • SR @ AJ

          For some reason I was thinking it was 5. Who was the 4th swing vote that blocked Florida felon voting lawsuit? I so would’ve thought at least 4 would’ve been on board.

        • AJ

          “For some reason I was thinking it was 5. Who was the 4th swing vote that blocked Florida felon voting lawsuit? I so would’ve thought at least 4 would’ve been on board.”
          It takes 4 to get an appeal heard (i.e. petition or cert. granted), 5 to win said appeal (i.e. SCOTUS issues an Opinion in your favor). IDK who voted which way on the FL felon case as I’ve not looked into it at all.

  12. JM

    My son was at Chuckwalla, released March, 2019. It was for a minor offense, not for a sex offense, but since he is a registered person he was treated as such. I know that I wouldn’t be able to sleep if he were there now. I can imagine just how hard this must be on loved ones of those incarcerated. I have written and will call today!

  13. Saddles

    Seems like this prision ordeal has gone on long enough and its a Fools parade of pay to the piper or elso you will have to do as I say and bow down to me.. You have a president that doesn’t like democrats and is bias as he thinks republican’s are the upper crust, women that back bite any chance they get, or should one go ask Opra or Alice. One wonders who’s looking in their looking glass to predict the future. You have authorities that seem to bear down with knee chokes and government out of control, plus this virus that is amongst us. Call it an act of God if you want or some bat disease from china… give me a break. So who’s killing who. Were is love thy neighbor today, or is it love thy money till one’s debt is paid. I wonder if government pays their debt?

    Punishment is a bit different from the Old testament ordeals as compaired to the new. One can call these laws ordinances, doctrine’s, or who is coveting in government. Who has blood on their hands or the writtings on the wall? No wonder this virus is here. Things are out of control. Nose rings, Tatooe’s, wife swapping and many more uncommon things. Oh excuse me all that is common today. So where does that leave principals or morals or judgement.
    Is this come compromise and get it over with. Some plea deal’s to say “Let my people Go” or should one just suffer and if one die’s due to this virus while in prison, Tough luck.

    Government just like anyone that has wisdom just wants to be right in their understanding. Sp wjere dpes tjso wisdom and understanding come from. everyday life, from that gal that took you for a ride, or from those government officials that suppose to have some biblical understanding and true wisdom but are jack asses or a horse with no name.but they can still ignore letters, don’t have to be bother with the lower class or even care if one die’s. Remember its all part of punishment.

    So what is punishment. Is it going against the grain. Growing mary jane in California when government controls the money flow or Caring and feeding prisoners when they could all just as well be justified but due to bad representation and being intimidated and treated like outcasts, officials want to override the little person. And thats exactly what they are doing out in California. Were is respect today. Its not in government in so many ways or the criminal Justice System or Prison Systems. All this should be taken into account.

    I guess if radio activity came people would still be held up in prison. Government tends to have no compassion today in many view’s. So people speak up in California. Get something in the newspapers or do what you can. Never give up in one’s inalienable rights. And yes we are all blessed when we use wisdom, understanding, and truth or do two wrongs still make a right or a wrong.

    Most all court systems are not biblically sound and the ethic’s are out the window today. People don’t care about the other person thats in dire straights. Much of this sex offender issue is wrong when they amend and give a person a one trick charley with these sex offenses. One wonders how much time one could get for sticking up their middle finger to the judge and jury in a courtroom not to mentioned the D.A.

  14. 290 air

    So they released a woman in CA in her early 40’s, due to covid, from prison who was sentenced to 80 years for first degree murder after only serving 20 years and they won’t release any sex offenders?

  15. AERO1

    I could understand not letting someone out early if they hurt a child in any way .
    That’s not fair to child victims and there family’s that rely on the courts and the prison system for justice.
    So when somebody’s released early after committing a heinous crime against a child that’s not kool ..that’s like a slap in the face after the fact .
    what if that was your child or your family member I’m pretty sure everybody would want Justice to be served to the fullest extent for there child or family member as well. …..


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